‘End the 30% pass mark syndrome’ — Mmusi Maimane says SA must transform basic education

It is not enough to equip pupils for the demands of the country’s development

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane is calling on government to transform the basic education system.
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane is calling on government to transform the basic education system.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

While matriculants await the release of their results next month, One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane said the basic education department needs to do away with its 30% pass rate if SA is to get the economy on track.

Maimane said the pass mark was not enough to equip school-leaving pupils for the demands of the country’s development.

“Our biggest challenge is education. To fix our education system, we must have motivated, qualified and ambitious teachers in every classroom.

“We must end the 30% pass mark syndrome. We must equip our young people to compete and win in the global economy. They can with good education,” he tweeted on Thursday.

He said education should not be disregarded, as it was the only way out of the economic crisis facing SA. He also called for better pay for teachers.

“Education is the way out of this economic mess. The 4IR economy requires specific hard skills. Our teachers are the frontline workers in the quest for economic prosperity. We must reward good teachers. We must remove bad teachers and attract new talent,” he said. 

Maimane has long been a critic of the education system.

In February, before the announcement of the 2020 matric results, he tabled a two-page document with proposed solutions to transform the education system, which he said had collapsed under basic education minister Angie Motshekga.

Incentivising pupils who performed well and increasing teacher salaries were among the proposed solutions. 

He said increasing teacher benefits would attract talented young people and improve the quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

“Young people respond well to incentives and we must use behavioural economics to keep the levels of participation and performance consistent throughout their high school careers.” 


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